Assam-based Ruloi Tea Trading Pvt. Ltd., which operates the direct-to-consumer (D2C) tea brand Esah Tea, has raised Rs 3 crore (around $400,000) in a pre-series A funding round from NEDFI Venture Capital Ltd, the company said in a statement on Monday.
The company added that it plans to use the funds to expand the marketing and operations team, developing new products, and launching brand stores in new geographies.
Esah claims to be the first tea start-up from Assam to raise venture funding. The brand has earlier raised angel investment from SRD Group and Grant From Assam Startup and NEAT-E-Hub, it added in the statement.
Founded in 2019, by Bijit Sarma, the brand currently offers organic tea variants like whole leaf black tea, green tea, oolong tea among others. They sell their products through their website and online marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal.
According to the statement, the start-up is delivering its products to more than 25 countries. The brand is planning to convert over 20,000 acres of land to organic tea cultivation and onboard around 1,000 local small tea growers by 2023.
North East Venture Fund (NEVF) is a North East India-focused venture fund, and a joint initiative of the Ministry of development of North Eastern Region, North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFI) and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). It provides support to innovative and scalable business models from the region.
In similar space, Asian cuisine-focused MasterChow; Indian tea brand Vahdam teas and Sleepy Owl Coffee Pvt. Ltd, which owns a ready-to-drink coffee brand, are among some startups that raised funds recently.